Jonathan Adler & Simon Doonan on Style, Celebs, and the Couple They Don’t Want to Be
DivineCaroline: How was it collaborating on this exhibit?
Jonathan Adler: It was a blast! we don’t get a chance to work together that much so it was fun to see Simon ruling the boardroom.
DC: As two stylish, creative people, do you ever have creative differences?
Simon Doonan: Well we actually do very different things. I could never do what he does. He makes pottery, he’s a designer. I don’t do that sort of thing.
JA: And we have very similar sensibilities. We have literarlly never had a fight about anything creative ever in our liives.
SD: Yes we never want to become those two gay guys who are bickering about where to put the…
JA: …the obélisques.
SD: Yes that would be quite embarrassing.
DC: How would you describe your personal style?
JA: I’m maybe a little preppier than Simon. Ive just always worn the same thing since my bar mitzvah: a white jean or a white chord with a button up. And he actually it’s funny, people always talk about Simon as a style icon but he’s ready in about 30 seconds because he has a uniform. A floral shirt and blazer.
DC: Simon, you recently wrote about the cult of celebrity on in your column on Slate ("Where Did All the Accomplished People Go?") And it's totally haunting me. Do you think we'll ever be able to reverse our current obsession with people who are famous for famous's sake? How can we get back to recognizing accomplished celebs too?
SD: I often think about that. In the '30s and '40s, there was a huge celebrity culture in America, movie stars, and glamour queens and then it sort of died in the '60s. in the counter culture. That all seemed rather gauche. Then it came back in the '80s and we’ve been stuck with it ever since. I think it’s safe to say that it’s cyclical. But maybe with the Internet it might be just take a new form. I think because of the Internet, people just like trash and flash and shock and scandal. I do. But the thing of agilating celebrities. I don’t know. One assumes it might be cyclical.
DC: Yes, the Internet is definitely a double-edged sword. A good outcome perhaps is that it's facilitated the accessibility of design. What do you think about that trend? Has it influenced your work?
JA: I love that design is so accessible. And the thing about that is that it’s very much in step with who Simon and I are as two creative people. We’re populists so I love that design and culture are readily available. We’re not elitists or snobs. I strive to make my stuff as affordable as it possibly can be. I think the movement toward accessibility is fantastique!
DC: What's your favorite fashion trend these days, Simon?
SD: My favorite trend is that there are no trends. If you like leopard print, you can find it. If you like dots, there's that too. I think this idea of trends is kind of a myth. I mean you could say "color blocking" is a trend these days, but wasn't that last year? It's not a bad thing. It's that there is something for everyone.